ISLAMABAD – Professor Dr Francis Lamand, a renowned French scholar who has been awarded Tamgha-e-Imtiaz for his services in bringing Islam and the West closer, has expressed the hope that Iqbal Chair would be established soon in Paris as France compared to other European counties has the largest Muslim population.

“The process of establishing Iqbal Chair in Paris is under way and we are waiting the nod of our French President,” Dr Lamand who runs few research organisations including Islam and the West told a press conference here at a local hotel on Sunday.

He explained that France has largest Muslim population of about seven million plus, therefore it needs Iqbal Chair to promote tolerance and other essential values that the West needs to promote the world peace. “We should drive and adopt moral values from the teaching of Allama Muhammad Iqbal”, Professor Lamand added. Dr Francis Lamand said that he is studying Allama lqbal from his university level fifty years ago and he is “proud to say to be his servant”. He said that the Europe is thankful to lqbal for elaborating the message of renowned Philosopher Fredrick Nietzsche and poet William Goethe.

He said that Iqbal was the bridge between the West and the East and West and Islam since no one else presented that concept better than him so we consider him not to limit as poet of the East but he was “a Universal poet and philosopher”.

He has the honour to organise Symposium on Dr Allama lqbal in Qurtoba with special permission of Pope, which was attended by world’s renowned dignitaries, and admirer of lqbal, then he was given the title of “Allama Lamand”.

  Francis Lamand is a French professor of Philosophy, an international lawyer and a former diplomat. Committed to the promotion of Islamic values in the West, Dr. Lamand has been striving to bring about understanding between the Islamic East and the Christian West.

One basic reason for the existing tension and misunderstanding between the East and the West, the French professor argues, is Western ignorance of the values of Islam.

“It is more of a case of ignorance than of hostility. Western thinkers perceive in the extremist behavior of minority political groups in some Muslim countries a threat to the law and order situation in the West, and, therefore, confuse the principles of Islam with the extremist behavior of a minority group”, he maintained.

According to Dr Lamand, the only way to end this confusion is to inculcate a better knowledge of the values of Islam among Western nations. Western societies, he says, can learn a lot from [Pakistani national poet] Allama Muhammad Iqbal’s philosophy in particular and Islamic values in general. There is tremendous academic interest in France for Iqbal. For his thoughts do not clash with the spirit of the time.

To Dr Lamand, Iqbal was one of the most important philosophers of the 20th century. “His message of brotherhood, fraternity and love for mankind is universal not meant for the world of Islam only. Iqbal’s thoughts can help end many of the social and cultural dilemmas the West is currently confronting. The dissemination of Iqbal’s philosophy in the West will, thus, remove misunderstanding and promote understanding between the East and the West.

It was with this spirit, said Dr Lamand, that his organization ˜Islam and the West’ had organized the first International Congress on Iqbal in Cordova in November 1991. The three-day Congress, participated by 33 delegates from all over the world, highlighted the universality and spirituality of Iqbal’s message and the dynamics of his religious thoughts.